7 stories to read this weekend

James Bond is 50, a nation of deadbeats, Stone Age brains dealing with Facebook, living literally inside the computer and reverse network effects — these are some of the topics I have put together for this week’s seven recommended reads. Plus a great essay on men’s style.

Amazon will publish the James Bond books in the U.S.

When the Ian Fleming estate gave up the digital rights to the James Bond backlist last month, Random House UK’s Vintage grabbed the English-language print and e-book rights everywhere outside the U.S. and Canada. Well, guess who’s getting those North American digital rights? Amazon.

YouTube No Longer “Glaring Exception” in “Pool” Lineup

“The Pool,” the industry consortium taking a long view on online video ad formats, has filled in a notable gap in its lineup by signing up the largest video-sharing site, YouTube (s GOOG), reports MediaWeek.
The Pool, which was formed by Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi around the start of this year, includes video hosts Microsoft (s MSFT), AOL (s TWX), Yahoo (s YHOO), CBS Interactive (s CBS) and Hulu and advertisers Allstate, Capital One Financial, General Mills, U.S. Cellular and DineEquity’s Applebee’s. The group has set a long-term agenda for standardizing video ad formats and will now also look at short-form video monetization specifically. Besides YouTube, other new partners include Denny’s, Walgreens and Wal-Mart. But while The Pool is winning key partners, others such as MTV Networks have reportedly decided to sit out, and some are impatient with the initiative’s timeline — the first report on ad formats isn’t due till next February.
YouTube’s lack of participation in The Pool had previously been called a “glaring exception.” But it seems the video giant and the consortium have figured out they have something to gain from one another. From MediaWeek:

“Getting YouTube involved like this is a great opportunity to expose them to those advertisers that they are more than UGC and that they are starting to get their act together,” said Tracey Scheppach, senior vp, video innovation director, Starcom MediaVest Group, who’s serving as point person on The Pool. Plus, YouTube’s participation is equally crucial to the endeavor’s potential impact. “Considering how much short-form video they have, it’s incredibly important to me,” she added.

Bond Comes to Your iPhone

photoiPhone apps might some day be the gold mine for advertising.  In the meanwhile, we are seeing the emergence of a new trend: iPhone apps as ads. Hollywood studios are the first ones to react and using free applications to promote its movies. We are totally loving the new app for the latest Bond flick, Quantum of Solace. More than just a micro-site, the Bond application lets you watch the movie trailers and read up about the movie. It also pushes you out to the iTunes music store if you want to you want to purchase Jack White’s throbbing theme song from the film. Of course others have more immersive apps. 
The Dark Knight, for example has come up with a way to add some Joker-style graffiti to photos of your friends. Use the touch screen to drag and rotate elements and then save and send them as you like. Bolt, Disney’s forthcoming animated canine adventure has released an app which is essentially a free stripped down Super Monkey game for a very subtle hand.
All three apps, however, lack the seemingly most obvious feature – the ability to actually purchase tickets for the movie. That much imagination would be too much to ask from Hollywood, but we are happy that they are thinking about ways to promote their movies on screens that matter.

Weekend Vid Picks: DIY James Bond Themes

Despite a pretty ridiculous title, anticipation for Quantum of Solace, the next Bond film, remains pretty high, especially after the release of a teaser trailer last month. The teaser doesn’t give a lot away, though, which means fans have since been reduced to discussing the elements they know are present. Which, in this case, boils down to the music.

Of course, the title theme, which will be performed by Jack White and Alicia Keys, hasn’t been released yet. So enterprising YouTuber Joe Cornish went ahead and created his own version.

For something comprised almost entirely of derivative works, Cornish’s humble offering is surprisingly original, working both as parody and film commentary. “Quantum of Solace…what does that mean?” Sorry, Joe, but no one, save Ian Fleming, really knows. Read More about Weekend Vid Picks: DIY James Bond Themes